For those who enjoy the tranquility of nature, immerse yourself in a field of endangered wildflowers and over 300 species of butterflies found locally. Bask in the bountiful harvest of grapefruits and oranges from the lush, sub-tropical Greater Mission area. With over 500+ species of birds, Mission is one of the top bird and butterfly watching regions in the world.

In addition to some of the world’s most incredible sunsets, Mission offers some of the most spectacular locations for birding and butterfly watching on earth! The Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park/World Birding Center and the National Butterfly Center have created havens for the special species unique to the area, and invite birders and naturalists to their sites by offering viewing stations, watching towers, interpretive centers, and various programs.


One of the top birding destinations in the country, Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park in deep South Texas well deserves its status as headquarters of the World Birding Center. Birders across the nation know Bentsen as a treasure trove of “Valley Specialties,” tropical birds found nowhere else in the United States. The 760-acre Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, together with over 1,700 acres of adjoining U.S. Fish and Wildlife refuge tracts, promises a year-round adventure in one of the richest birding areas of the United States.


The National Butterfly Center is a project of the North American Butterfly Association (NABA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation and study of wild butterflies in their native habitats. This 100-acre wildlife center and native species botanical garden contains trails for exploring, observation areas, garden café, educational exhibits and a plant nursery. The beauty of the natural world, the wonder of butterflies, particularly and the powerful role they play in maintaining healthy ecosystems and sustainable food resources. The Center is open for exploration daily.


Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park is also the headquarters of the World Birding Center, which has nine designated sites that protect wildlife habitats throughout the Rio Grande Valley. Birders can look for Green Jays, Altamira and Audubon’s Orioles, Hookbilled Kites, and flocks of Broad-winged Hawks during migration. The World Birding Center invites novice as well as advance birders/naturalists to the sites and offers one-of-a-kind viewing stations, watching towers, interpretive centers and programs for all age groups!

Anzalduas County Park and Dam

Anzalduas County Park is located on the Rio Grande River in Mission. Its defining feature is the Anzalduas Dam, yet it is also a beautiful spot for picnicking, barbequing, and boating. This well-maintained park also offers surprisingly excellent wildlife watching. Some birds to watch for are Grey Hawk, Tropical Parula, Clay-colored Robin, Rose-throated Becard, and Northern Beardless Tyrannulet. There are more than 290 species of butterflies in the Valley. Keep an eye out for the Mexican Blue Wing, Malachite, Zebra Longwing and Red-bordered Pixie. For more information call (956)585-4500.